MY FATHER WAS UNCLE WIGGILY by Roger Garis

MY FATHER WAS UNCLE WIGGILY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Each of the Uncle Wiggily stories used to end with a tag like, ""If the refrigerator doesn't catch cold and sneeze so hard it turns all the eggs into an omelet, I'll tell you next time about Uncle Wiggily and the skyrocket."" In his 89 years, Roger Garis's father Howard Garis wrote 15,000 Uncle Wiggily stories, 35 Tom Swift novels (as Victor Appleton) and over 700 children's books. Meanwhile, the elder Garis's wife Lilian produced the Bobbsey Twins series, Roger himself The X Bar X Boys, and when little sister Cleo sprang forth with her juveniles, the Garis household had become the greatest fiction factory on the globe. Naturally, with four writers contending in the same house, egos would rub raw. Howard and Lilian would get a flat $125 (no royalties) for each Tom Swift or Bobbsey Twins novel, when suddenly young Roger was earning $1,000 per short story from Collier's. Not that his parents begrudged his success in ""adult"" fiction...The author has saved the best stories about his father till last, and the closing elegiacal chapters may be read through a mist. The full effect of Uncle Wiggily's meaning is released as children everywhere keep greeting the octogenarian as Uncle Wiggily. Neighbor Robert Frost, one year junior to Howard, and a close friend, told him sadly how disappointed children were when he admitted he wasn't Uncle Wiggily but only Robert Frost the poet. And if the glorious death scene in which the aged writer is saved from the grave by the arrival of several hundred crayon drawings of Uncle Wiggily's haunts and friends as drawn by schoolchildren will still allow you to see the page, we'll tell you next chapter about Mr. Garis and the 26-pound lobster which it took him two weeks to eat. The title and the character may attract attention.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill